BOOK REVIEW – “FUELING AMERICA, An Insider’s Journey” by Jack Kerfoot

The following is the latest book review on “FUELING AMERICA, An Insider’s Journey” by Jack Kerfoot. The book review is on Banes & Noble and is by Martin Baxter.

I thoroughly enjoyed reading Fueling America by Jack Kerfoot. Although the book essentially details the authors 40 year global journey as an Oil and Gas Explorationist, taking him from Texas in the US to Indonesia, Turkey, the UK, Holland, Malaysia and Oman, it is more than just a journey recollection. The book also deals with the history of Energy evolution from the pre Oil & Gas days of whale oil, through Coal, the advent and rise of petroleum energy, Nuclear Power and finally the advent of renewable energy (hydro, geothermal, wind and solar). At the same time the book covers the subject of how demand and supply has impacted the growth, and cost, of the various energy resources, specifically Oil and Gas.

The book is structured in such a way that each chapter is based upon a specific company and/or location the author experienced during his “journey”. This results in not only an orderly account of Mr Kerfoot’s career but allows for both insightful and often humorous anecdotal stories of what it was like to work for large and small oil companies alike, and also the cultures he encountered in the diverse countries visited during his “travels”.

Furthermore by using his own observations whilst working for the many and diverse companies he encountered on his journey the author goes into great detail as to the importance of O&G exploration strategy and risk assessment. The author pulls no punches when these two factors are not properly addressed, and provides examples of such occasions. The author is also unafraid to call out “questionable corrupt practices”, both within the US and globally, when they became apparent to him.

The final chapter, entitled Our Energy Conundrum, of the book brings the whole question of Energy to the circumstances of the present day. The author forcefully argues that Fossil Fuels (Oil, Gas and Coal) are finite resources and that they will become depleted, possible even in the not too distant future. As such it is imperative that energy policies are put in place to plan now for this occurrence. As a result this final chapter details the rise in renewable energy, specifically Hydro, wind and solar, due to both necessity and Climate Change concerns.

In the interest of full disclosure I acknowledge that not only did I work closely with Jack Kerfoot for many years in Malaysia, but that I am also a frequent contributor to his Facebook Discussion Group “Energy – Solutions or Catastrophy”. These two facts allow me to state with a high degree of confidence that the author has deep expertise, insightfullness and passion for his chosen subject.

As stated I found this book highly insightful, enlightening, highly enjoyable and often amusing (I also appreciated the larger than normal font size used !!). Highly recommended to anyone interested in the Oil and Gas industry (especially from an insiders viewpoint), and/or wishes to delve deeper into under standing Energy issues of both the past and the present.boo

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